Jesus Speaks: How to Pray

What would Jesus say if he were on Earth today? I have organized some of the words Jesus said into a condensed, speech-like format for 21st-century readers. Some words have been deleted, some added, and some tenses changed to help the flow of this project. A sincere effort has been made not to change any meaning.

-J Davis Illingworth

Jesus visited earth over 2,000 years ago. What He said was recorded by eyewitnesses in the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible. This is what Jesus said about prayer:

The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. 1Matthew 6:7 MSG

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.2Matthew 6:14 NLT

In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.3Matthew 6:14-15 MSG

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.4Matthew 7:7 MSG You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!  So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.5Matthew 7:9-11 NLT

God doesn’t require attention-getting devices.6Matthew 6:18 MSG

And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either.7Matthew 6:5 MSG

Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.8Matthew 6:6 MSG

With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:9Matthew 6:13 MSG

Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.10Luke 11:2-4 NLT

Imagine what would happen if you went a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’ The friend answers from his bed, ’Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’ But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.11Luke 11:5-8 MSG

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.12Luke 11:9 NLT

This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need.13Matthew 6:8 MSG

References   [ + ]

1. Matthew 6:7 MSG
2. Matthew 6:14 NLT
3. Matthew 6:14-15 MSG
4. Matthew 7:7 MSG
5. Matthew 7:9-11 NLT
6. Matthew 6:18 MSG
7. Matthew 6:5 MSG
8. Matthew 6:6 MSG
9. Matthew 6:13 MSG
10. Luke 11:2-4 NLT
11. Luke 11:5-8 MSG
12. Luke 11:9 NLT
13. Matthew 6:8 MSG

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Get the latest news and updates directly in your inbox! Just enter your email address below: